AP NEWS

Land managers defer drilling near Carlsbad Caverns

July 24, 2018

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Federal land managers have opted for more time to study the potential effects of oil and gas operations near Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southeastern New Mexico.

A proposed lease sale first announced last spring had included more than two dozen parcels that were within 10 miles of the park, sparking concern among environmentalists.

The Bureau of Land Management on Monday published its final proposal for the September lease sale and excluded at total of 31 parcels to allow for the agency to study the local geology and its interaction with groundwater.

The Albuquerque Journal reports environmentalists still have concerns about air quality as development expands in the Permian Basin along the Texas-New Mexico border. They want officials to postpone new lease sales until the agency completes a new resource management plan for the area.

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